Countertechnique class looks a lot like figure skating. I don't mean the outfits (though that would be fun.) When our Countertechnique teacher, Elita Cannata, demonstrates an idea, she leans into geometry, slipping through space on an impossibly narrow edge. Shift the weight! Send it away! As dancers, we are invited to “see what you see” even if it’s the blurred faces way up the highest bleachers. It would be easy to mistake Countertechnique training as a personal style, legs that tail-whip around corners. But it is, thankfully, a mature and researched approach (http://www.countertechnique.com/what-it-is/).
I've said all this glittery stuff about figure skating, but in application, it hangs out at the skate park. Countertechnique class selects from a pool of authored exercises that teach the dancer to crest through air. These cumulative combinations support the needs of the contemporary concert dancer: turn out, tendues, port de bras, extension, jumps, inversions, presence, etc. But this thing is mischievous. Like it grew up with classical anatomy and then dared the whole skeleton to drop into the half pipe, to toss and delight in the weight of the arm, the skull, the leg. The pelvis goes up in Countertechnique, riding through air. The legs are in front of the trunk, spiraling down like a skateboard, timed with gravity to meet the skater as she drops from the sky. May she dance forever.